Mar 27, 2022

Rector’s Letter April 2022

written by Richard Bland
Easter dawn

Dear friends,

As many of you know, I have just returned from a wonderful three days retreat on the island of Lindisfarne. Whilst I was there the weather was beautiful and I deliberately turned off my phone, ignored my emails and even dispensed with the TV and radio. And because of this, I was given the gift of time: time to listen to the skylarks’ song as they flew high in the air… time to see the deer in the fields, to watch the sparrows in the hedges cheekily waiting for the left over crumbs of my scone and especially time to sit on St Cuthbert’s Isle watching the sun rise at 6.30am on a Tuesday morning. What blessings!

And as I reflected on these experiences I was able to recognise them as Easter moments… of goodness, gratitude, and the very real presence of God. I was reminded that Easter Day is not a single event which happened two thousand years ago – but an ever present gift of resurrection experiences which are being offered to us each and every day if only we have the eyes and hearts to see.

Recently I read a true story told by Megan McKenna, the prolific Catholic writer. She was leading a Bible Study about Jesus raising the widow’s son… when someone from the back called out harshly, “Have you ever brought back someone from the dead?” And her response was (and I quote): “Yes. Every time I bring hope into a situation, every time I bring joy that shatters despair, every time I forgive others and give them back dignity and the possibility of a future with me and others in the community, every time I listen to others and affirm them and their life, every time I speak the truth in public, every time I confront injustice — yes — I bring people back from the dead.”

Resurrection is all around us – the signs are there despite what the media like to portray. And how can we see resurrection? Perhaps by giving our full attention to whatever we are doing…. by walking the path of beauty and noticing the spiritual radiance in the people, places and creation around us…. by leaving the past to God’s mercy and the future to God’s care, and living in the present. Perhaps by forgiving those who hurt us… bringing healing to those who fight… by bringing joy into a gathering of people. Perhaps by nurturing ourselves and those we meet… by treating all with kindness and compassion.

There are so many ways in which we can be resurrection people…. and see the reality of resurrection all around us… even within the tough times and amidst the suffering of this world. God remains the God of transformation and resurrection… now and always. Alleluia!

with love, Liz